Not everyone wants to live out of a humid tent for three days, spending a month’s rent on bottled water and elbowing their way to stage-adjacent real estate. To those people you say, “Live a little,” and anxiously refresh your browser the day Coachella tickets go on sale. Contrary to your initial instinct, you can’t just throw a few glow sticks and your best pair of flip-flops into a bag and call it a day when it comes to packing for the festival. Aside from reviewing Coachella’s official list of what you can and can’t bring into the concert venue (leave your hula hoops at home, kids), you need to assemble items for both fashion and function. Here are some Coachella packing tips that will keep you safe, sane, and turning heads in Indio:
Is That You, Drew Barrymore?
Look, it’s gonna be hot in the Coachella Valley. Not mildly uncomfortable. Your eyeballs are going to sweat. If you’re lucky, you’ll see temps in the low 80s at night. Dig out that flowy romper from the back of your closet (bros too, this is a no-judgment zone), and bust out your best crop tops or paper-thin tanks. The more crochet and floral the better: Pretend you’re auditioning for the lead role in “Blossom” (JK, everybody wanted to be Six). Black is still not reflecting the sun these days, so stick with light-colored floppy hats and lace tube tops.
Nobody Wants to Carry You to the Medical Tent
No, really, the desert is hot. You need to stay as hydrated as a Real Housewife during her yearly detox so you don’t pass out. Bring plenty of water, a hand-held fan, and cold packs that activate when you break them. Channel your inner Bruce Springsteen, or Bret Michaels, or (ugh) Kylie Jenner and wear a bandana. Whether you use it to keep dust out of your mouth, sweat from your eyes, or your friend’s BO out of your nose, you will be happy you have it. Don’t be the idiot who gets sunburned. Get a can of sunscreen and spray that stuff head to toe every few hours.
This Ain’t Glamping
Sure, you could post up in a Palm Springs hotel and take an Uber to the festival every day. But why do that when you and hundreds of your new best friends can camp out together under the stars? You might end up sleeping in the back of your friend’s sweet 1998 Nissan Sentra or a tent you grabbed at Big Lots with tip money. Either way, camping spot dimensions at Coachella are pretty modest and they’re set in stone. Don’t buy a 20-person tent. Just…don’t. Bring a sturdy tent with no holes (not your Boy Scout tent that’s been sitting in the garage for decades) that can fit comfortably in your camping space. Stock up on flashlights for late-night bathroom breaks or midnight games of tag, a blow-up mattress, bug spray, fold-out chairs, and a pop-up canopy to set up during the day.
Pack This Stuff, Too (Your Parents Will Feel Better)
There are lots of helpful-in-an-emergency items that you should bring to Coachella as well (yeah, yeah, what is this, a PSA?). We now bring you the most mom-like of all advice: When you go to rage in the desert, bring bandages, antibacterial ointment, headache and pain relievers, aloe vera, a carefully hidden back-up credit card and stash of cash, protein bars, and over-the-counter allergy meds. Oh, and even though that spot next to the speaker seems like a great idea, throw in some ear plugs first, would ya? We’re not going to get into what could be living on the floor of the communal showers. Just…wear some shower shoes or cheap flip-flops while you’re in there.
Your time in the Coachella Valley will leave you with memories to last a while. Just make sure they’re good ones. Remember to play nice with other concert-goers, and don’t break any cardinal Coachella rules. If you sneak your drone in you’re just asking for trouble (seriously, Coachella specifically asks that you leave all drones at home). With a bag full of the essentials and a spontaneous attitude, you might be in for the best weekend of your life!